Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 30, 2014

June 8, 2012

Wisconsin: TV Ads Race Heats Up in Senate Primary

The race for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat heated up this week in the wake of Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde launched new television ads in their bids for the Republican nomination, while former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) announced that he would campaign with tea party favorite Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

In both spots, Thompson and Hovde portray themselves as Washington outsiders who would challenge the way business is done on Capitol Hill. Thompson’s statewide media buy for his new ad is his first foray into the contest’s television ads race. In the spot, the candidate lists a number of Washington policies that he would work to stop — including tax hikes and the 2010 health care reform measures.

“Stop,” Thompson, a former Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, says at the beginning of the ad. “It’s an easy concept, but Washington politicians just don’t get it.”

Full story

NRCC Loads Second Clip of Young Guns Candidates

NRCC Loads Second Clip of Young Guns Candidates

North Carolina Congressional candidate David Rouzer is among the National Republican Congressional Committee's newest Young Guns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced its second round of Young Guns — GOP candidates who have been placed in the top tier of the committee’s recruitment and candidate support program.

“These candidates have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said. “The momentum behind these campaigns is proof-positive that Americans are fed up with President Obama’s policies …” Full story

Kansas: Court Issues Map, Redistricting Over

The nation’s decennial redistricting process finished late Thursday night when a federal court in Kansas released the state’s new Congressional map.

Despite the political drama leading up to the court’s decision, the new Kansas map doesn’t make any sweeping changes to the state’s Congressional lines.

According to a source who examined the lengthy order, here are the changes to the state’s four House districts:

  • In the 1st district, freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) picked up Riley, Geary and Pottawatomie coutnies. The 1st district needed to add about 60,000 in the redraw. It remains a solidly GOP seat.
  • In the 2nd district, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R) picked up Montgomery County and all of Douglas County, including Lawrence and the University of Kansas. That means this district became slightly less Republican and could be competitive.
  • In the 3rd district, freshman Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) now has all of Johnson County, Wyandotte County and a small piece of Miami County. As a result, the Republican performance in his district improved slightly. Yoder’s district needed to shed about 60,000 people in the redraw.
  • In the 4th district, freshman Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) dropped Montgomery County and picked up several rural counties on the west side of his Wichita-based district. His seat is now even more friendly to Republicans.

Kansas had been the only state without a new Congressional map. For months, Republicans squabbled in the state Legislature over a new map in what should have been a simple process. The GOP controls the governor’s mansion, both state legislative chambers and the entire Congressional delegation in this geographically rectangular state.

In late May, for the first time in state history, a federal court took up the mapmaking process.

June 7, 2012

Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney

Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 11:02 p.m.| Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said this afternoon that he is “honored” to be endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), had run for the Republican presidential nomination against Romney in 2008 and this election cycle, but he essentially conceded the race in an email to supporters today.

“When it is all said and done, we will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the convention floor,” he wrote, according to the Houston Chronicle. “That is just over 20 percent! And while this total is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!”

In response to Sen. Paul’s endorsement, Romney praised his record.

“Sen. Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty,” he said, adding that he looks forward to “working with him to get America back on the right track.”

Sen. Paul, himself, is widely thought to harbor ambitions for higher office. “The assumption throughout the political community in Kentucky is that he’s a one-term Senator who is running for president in 2016,” said a Republican consultant deeply familiar with Kentucky.

North Dakota: Senate Poll Shows Dead Heat

A new independent poll shows freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R) and former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) in a virtual tie for the open North Dakota Senate seat.

Heitkamp leads Berg, 47 percent to 46 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research for KVLY and KFYR television stations. Just 7 percent of voters were undecided in the poll.

The survey comes as good news to Democrats, who hope to keep the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad seat as part of their larger effort to maintain control of the Senate. The results are yet another sign that the race is competitive, although Roll Call continues to rate it as Leans Republican. Full story

Virginia: Jamie Radtke Going On TV Ahead of Tuesday’s Primary

Virginia: Jamie Radtke Going On TV Ahead of Tuesdays Primary

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | Virginia Senate candidate Jamie Radtke will be on statewide TV in the days leading up to Tuesday’s Republican primary, the tea party leader said today.

“We’re shocking everybody, including the media,” Radtke told Roll Call.

Radtke is a heavy underdog against George Allen, a former governor and Senator who is expected to advance and take on former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the general. But she says her support has surged since last month’s second of three GOP debates. Full story

Michigan: Consensus for Nancy Cassis as Write-In

That was fast. Top Michigan Republicans decided to support former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) as their consensus write-in candidate for the 11th district GOP ballot.

A cadre of top local GOP leaders met again this morning to discuss potential candidates and settled on Cassis out of a handful of write-in hopefuls who expressed interest.

The decision follows a hectic couple of days for the local GOP since Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) dropped his own write-in bid Saturday after failing to make the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

There’s one Republican on the primary ballot, reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio, but GOP leaders opted to try to support a write-in candidate instead.

Full story

Mitt Romney Outraises Barack Obama in May

Mitt Romney Outraises Barack Obama in May

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney raised $76.8 million in May, easily surpassing the more than $60 million raised by President Barack Obama during the same period.

Romney’s May fundraising haul included funds contributed to his presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee and Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee set up by the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign and the RNC. The Romney campaign and the RNC said they finished the month with a combined $107 million in cash on hand, according to a Romney campaign press release. Full story

Wisconsin: Sean Duffy Claims Post-Recall Momentum in House Race

Wisconsin: Sean Duffy Claims Post Recall Momentum in House Race

Rep. Sean Duffy is a top target for Democrats this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Sean Duffy’s re-election campaign quickly claimed to have seized the momentum in his competitive race for re-election following Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) easy victory in Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrat who opposed Walker in the recall, won only three of the 26 counties in the 7th district, according to a Wednesday memo from the Duffy campaign. Voters in the counties that make up the district picked Walker over Barrett by a 17-point margin. Full story

Florida: James Clyburn, Corrine Brown to Fundraise for Al Lawson

Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) and Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.) will appear at a fundraiser for Congressional candidate Al Lawson today. Brown’s office confirmed to Roll Call that the fundraiser is happening at noon at the National Democratic Club.

Lawson is running for the Democratic nomination in the Florida’s Tallahassee-anchored 2nd district against state Rep. Leonard Bembry, who has the endorsement of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog PAC.

Bembry’s campaign was listed as an “emerging race” by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lawson, who entered the race after the DCCC’s announcement, is not on that list.

Lawson, like Clyburn and Brown, is African-American. Bembry is white. Full story

Montana: Jon Tester, Denny Rehberg to Debate Twice in June

Fresh off securing their nominations on Tuesday, Sen. Jon Tester (D) and his challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), are set to debate twice in the next two weeks.

The Tester campaign announced that the first debate will take place June 16 in Big Sky and will also include Libertarian candidate Dan Cox. They will meet at Buck’s T-4 Lodge at 4 p.m. ET. The Montana Broadcasters Association is sponsoring a second debate between Tester and Rehberg on June 24 in Whitefish.

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

June 6, 2012

Arizona: Democrats Outspending Republicans On TV in 8th District

Six days out from the special election in Arizona’s 8th district, television spending in Tucson has surpassed the $3 million mark.

Those supporting Democrat Ron Barber have outspent their Republican counterparts backing veteran Jesse Kelly by about $200,000, according to sources who track television buys in the state. The two candidates are locked in a tight race to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

Full story

Pennsylvania: New Poll Gives Bob Casey Double Digit Lead

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) held a commanding lead over Republican Tom Smith in a new poll released by Franklin & Marshall College today.

The poll, which surveyed 412 registered voters from May 29 to June 4, showed Casey leading Smith 42 percent to 21 percent. More than a third of voters said they still remain undecided.

Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed said they did not know enough about Casey to have an opinion about him, despite serving five years in the Senate and coming from a family that has been prominent in Pennsylvania politics for decades.

Smith — a former executive at a coal company — spent more than $3 million of his own money to win the Republican primary in April over the candidate endorsed by the state party. The poll suggested that Smith’s name recognition remains low across the state. More than 75 percent of poll respondents said they did not know enough about him to view him favorably or unfavorably.

Roll Call rates the Pennsylvania Senate race as Likely Democratic.

The poll also gives President Barack Obama a healthy lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Obama would win Pennsylvania 48 percent to 36 percent if the election were held today, the poll found.

Mitch McConnell: Scott Walker’s Victory a GOP Blueprint

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) today said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful defense of his Republican administration in a recall election could set the gold standard for GOP campaigns nationwide.

Full story

Connecticut: Christopher Murphy, Linda McMahon Close in Senate Poll

Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon and Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) could see a tough general election fight to replace retiring Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I), according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

In a test of a November matchup between the two, Murphy took 46 percent to McMahon’s 43 percent, a result within the poll’s 2.6-point margin of error.

Full story

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